Hate job hunting? You’re not alone…
Whether you’re a practiced jobseeker or you’re just starting out, looking for a new job can be a stressful (and time consuming) process. Not only do you have to nail your applications, you also have to find a job that’s actually right for you.
To help you get through it, here are five of the biggest frustrations about looking for a job, and our advice on how to deal with them:
1. ‘I need experience to get experience’
So you’ve just found the perfect job.
You’re fully capable of carrying out the tasks and duties listed in the job description, and you have all of the required skills and knowledge. There’s just one catch; you need experience.
And if you’re a recent graduate or school leaver, or you’re looking to change careers – you won’t always be able to tick that box. Especially if the experience required is industry-specific, and surprisingly extensive.
But don’t let this discourage you. Although there are many roles that will require experience, there are also lots that don’t.
And if you can’t find them? Remember: all experience is good experience. Even if you have to start from the bottom or work in a different industry – the transferable skills you gain will show recruiters what you’re really capable of (not to mention demonstrate your dedication to working your way up).
Our advice: Start small. And work in any way you can to build up a portfolio of practical work experience. Because whether you volunteer, sign up for an internship or apprenticeship, or even work freelance – there’s always an opportunity out there to help you develop your skills.
2. ‘I can’t find the job I want’
Finding a great job isn’t easy – especially if you’re really specific with what you want.
Not only could disappointing results be reaching a rut in your job search, they could also mean you start to lose motivation in ever finding anything. Ever.
But whether you’re unknowingly searching in the wrong places, your search terms are too specific (or too vague), or you’re simply looking for a job that very rarely comes up – there can be a number of reasons your search isn’t going well.
And you might be surprised at how a few simple changes could make a difference.
For example, if you don’t have many options – consider broadening your search (whether it’s through introducing Boolean searching or being more flexible with the job title). And if you have too much? Make your search more specific.
It’s all about your adapting your search method.
Our advice: Don’t limit your options. Although you might be set on a particular job, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one that’s right for you.
3. ‘There’s too much competition’
Unfortunately, you’ll never be the only candidate for a job.
And if you see a job that’s already had 100+ applications, submitting your own can feel like a daunting prospect.
Not only could you lose all hope of being considered, you could also doubt whether there’s even any point applying. In fact, you’re beginning to wonder whether the phrase ‘needle in a haystack’ derived solely from your job search problems.
But competition shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a role you love.
Instead, do everything you can to make your application stand out. So what if they have the same degree as you? It won’t mean anything if your CV and cover letter is better at representing your abilities than theirs is.
Our advice: Think about what makes you unique. There might be a number of similar candidates, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way of setting yourself apart. Dig deeper into your skills, experience, and hobbies – and provide clear examples to prove how they make you a good fit for the role.
4. ‘It’s time consuming’
No matter how experienced you are, finding a new job can take time.
Not only do you have to tailor your CV and cover letter to each application, you also have to put the effort into searching for a job that ticks all of your own boxes.
But before you assume job searching is just wasted time – think again. OK, you might not be getting a job straight away. But by staying focused and continuing to submit applications, you’re working on your ability to stay motivated and patient – and proving these skills to future employers.
Let’s face it, an evening spent crafting a really compelling application is better than an hour spent firing out irrelevant CVs that won’t ever get read.
Remember: good things take time.
Our advice: Don’t rush it. Creating a really relevant and engaging application is a great way to prove your passion and interest to employers. After all, they can spot a rushed application from a mile off, so it’s absolutely vital that you put the time into tailoring it to each job and company.
5. ‘I don’t hear back’
So you’ve applied to (seemingly) thousands of jobs – and you’ve only heard back from half of them.
Understandably, you’re frustrated.
Has the job been filled? Will they tell you if you haven’t been successful? Did they even read your application? Aside from making you wonder whether the CV myths you’ve been hearing are actually true (cue: robots) – you’re also probably wondering what you did wrong.
This is why asking for feedback is essential.
Whether their response helps you improve on your next application, your interest persuades them to consider your application further, or they actually just haven’t gotten round to the interviewing stage yet (meaning you still have a chance) – you’ll get the peace of mind you need to keep going.
Our advice: Don’t give up. Although not hearing back can be discouraging – letting it affect the rest of your job search will only make things worse. Instead, continue to put the effort into applying for other roles – and you’re only like to increase your chances of finding one that’s right for you.
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